Santa Clara County

Mass Exodus at Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters After Burnt Toast Triggers Fire Alarm

The Santa Clara Registrar of Voters Office was evacuated Tuesday morning after burnt toast set off a fire alarm in the building.

"This is pretty uncommon," said Registrar of Voters spokesperson Anita Torres. "We have never ever had a fire alarm go off on Election Day."

Torres, stressed, however that all the votes were safe.

"The last people remaining in the building were our staff, and they stayed behind to make sure the ballots were all locked up before we left," she said.

Voters and employees were briefly evacuated just before 11 a.m. and then allowed back in after the San Jose building was deemed safe, about 20 minutes later. The evacuation did cause "a bit of a delay," Torres said, but most people waited it out and returned to finish voting.

Jhanel Keyes of Sunnyvale said the alarm was a “little startling.” She also said the “disruption was annoying” because it forced her to gather all her papers, leave the building, and then try to recall where she had left off.

Keyes said she hasn’t voted in years, but this year, she was determined to cast her ballot – fire alarm or not.

“I would stay here till sunset if I had to,” she said.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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